privacy planting for small yard

dangerous_with_toolsFebruary 23, 2007

Hey folks,

I happen to share space with the local high school football field and I'm getting tired of looking at their ugly chain link fencing.

I have a narrow lot -- my backyard is about 40 feet deep by 30 feet wide, although the side of my house is only about 15-20 feet wide (the fence takes a dogleg next at about where the back of my house starts). Could anyone recommend some good evergreen hedging material that won't grow too wide? My yard gets a lot of sun and wind, thanks to the big open field next door. (It isn't bad, really, they only play there a few times each year and it keeps my little part of the neighborhood quiet.)

A neigbor recommended leyland cypress, but I don't know too much about them (the plant not the neighbor). Another neighbor recommended bamboo, but from what I read that's probably not a good idea. An arbor vitae might work, if someone can recommend a variety that doesn't get to fat at the bottom.

In any case, your collective wisdom would be much appreciated.

PS: Fencing isn't really an option, my town put a halt to privacy fences over four feet (of course, the chain link is about six foot tall).

PPS: Thank God for preview or you people would think my yard is 40 by 3.

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earthlydelights(6 pushing 7)

i lined a second of my yard with rose of sharon and planted them close enough together. i'm not big on the hedge type plants, as a matter of fact, i've made it a point to cut them all down. they just do nothing for me. i'd rather see blooms. maybe it's where i planted them, but they continually dropped seed so the smaller ones would fill in between the taller ones. i started them out digging from someone else's property. i love the white and pink and purple blooms!


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 4:41PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Rose of Sharon is a hardy hibiscus and is deciduous. It is a nice plant but not a very good hedge or screen.

The screen plants include:

Thuja "Green Giant": it is an arborvitae that if planted on 5' spacing will provide a privacy screen. They grow quickly and will form a screen about 5' thick and about 25' tall. It is evergreen and will form a solid screen. It will take full sun and is very tolerant of soils. It is very cold hardy.

"Lelyand Cypress": it is a similar plant. Similar size. It is not as hardy but should be OK is SE PA. It doesn't grow quite as fast.

Both of these will probably have to be topped to keep from getting too tall.

A more costly solution that takes up less space is 'Skyrocket' juniper. A newer plant is 'Blue Arrow' juniper.
They are both cultivars of Juniper virginiana and do very well in this area in sun or partial shade. They grow more slowly but take up less space. If planted 18" apart they would form a screen about 18" deep and about 12' tall. They grow about 18" per year when young.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 9:40AM
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Thanks Rhodyman! I'm going to take a look at those junipers.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 6:09AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

I used bamboo in a narrow yard and was very pleased. That was for high screening, though, the base of the plants wasn't solid enough to hide a low chain link fence like you're describing.

Can you grow a vine, or does the fence belong to the school? Sweet autumn clematis would smother it pretty quickly. It's not evergreen, but the vines provide winter screening if you don't cut them back each year.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:48AM
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Pipersville carol, unfortunately the fence belongs to the school...but that doesn't stop me from trying to encourage vine-y growth. It looks nice for a good part of the year, but kind of desolate come winter.

I did have some purple clematis growing there at one point last year, but one of the groundskeepers at the school accidentally destroyed it when he lost control of his lawnmower.

There's a bit of a hill on the other side of the fence leading up the football field, so I want something that may grow well above fence height over time.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 1:17PM
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